Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Until We Meet Again


On June 27th, Darcy received one of those phone calls that no one wants to receive.  Comfort and blessings came to her in specific, beautiful ways, but most of what she wrote that week is too tender for the blog.  

Friday began super normal, until lunch. Well, first of all, you have to realize that Thursday was the day the new mission president, President Salisbury, was to land, and when he landed, the keys to the mission go to him.  I got the call just hours before, so I got the call from President Pitt, and that means SO much to me. 

So anyway, during lunch we get a call from President Pitt, which never happens. So I answer, and he asks me if we could speak privately. So I go into the other room wondering what was going on. He starts off by saying he loves me, and that I need to brace myself for the information he was about to tell me.

A million things ran through my brain in those moments. I stared out the window as he told me that he had received a call from my father who had informed him that my friend in Madagascar had passed away. I think I gasped a little because it caught me so off guard. President Pitt asked me, "Do you know who that would be?" The tears had already started against my will as I answered, "Matt, Matt Palmer." President gave me some of the most beautiful words of comfort and counsel after that. He told me that Matt had a beautiful work to do on the other side. He bore testimony of the plan of salvation, and the beauty and comfort that is our Heavenly Father’s perfect plan. There are no mistakes. Matt was, and is, exactly where he needs to be. I am exactly where I need to be. This is God's plan. President also told me something that hit me to the very core. He told me that Matt would want me to work my hardest, and live every day like it might be my last, and that he would support me from the other side.

Matt’s hands are vivid in my memory.  I remember all those hours I spent sitting on the piano bench next to him watching those hands. Those hands helped me up time and time again.  They were always rough from working,  but then, those hands would make the most beautiful music I've ever heard. I honestly don't think I have ever heard anyone play music like Matt. He played with his soul, and that's why you couldn't listen without tears coming to your eyes. Matt was a beautiful, inspiring influence, and he really did change the course of my life.

Monday, July 14, 2014


I survived the transfer to Morgantown!  My new companion is Sister Long from Provo. My first Sunday in the Morgantown Ward I'm sitting feeling all lonely because the first days in new wards as a missionary are always a little lonely. And then the meeting starts and this beautiful man comes and sits down to my left on the next pew over. I kind of look over at him and do a double take. He looks JUST like B------ Wilcox's dad, who taught my mission prep. class. But I think, "No way, that's impossible. He's just a member." But the whole meeting I keep looking over at this guy and I'm thinking, "no way... this is definitely Brother Wilcox." At one point he catches me staring at him and gives me a big smile and I'm like, "Oh. My. Heck. This can't be real. Because it really is him!" 

After the meeting I stand up and he gives me that big smile again and still stunned, I can't think of anything better to say, so I say, "Uh.... what are you doing here?" (You would think that after dealing with people non-stop every day I would have more imagination than that... but no. I'm still just the same.) He proceeds to tell me how he works out here for a few weeks at a time and so he goes to church out here when he's working! We got to talk about how B------ is doing and it was SO nice! I really, really wanted to hug him, which was weird because I don't really even know him and I'm not allowed to hug men... but it was just like a little piece of home was sent to me exactly when I needed it! He texted our Stake President and told him he ran into me. I saw him a few times throughout the rest of the meetings and every time I couldn't keep this huge ridiculous smile off my face because I was just SO happy to see him! I love my West Bountiful family so much. I really do come from such a good town.

Elder Maxwell (J----- Maxwell who I graduated with) is in the other ward in our building and so is Sister Reed from the MTC! I'm so happy she's here! This morning I got to cut the tops off onions at this hippie dude's farm with Sister Reed and her companion!  Gardening with this wonderful guy was just what I needed. It made me so happy!

Sister Long with a Goat.  Welcome to the WVCM.

Mo-town Bound

Camera card--saved from the sewer!


This kid is headed to Morgantown, West Virginia in the morning! I'm pretty excited to finally serve in the state that was written on my call letter! Morgantown is about as north as our mission goes, and it's home to West Virginia University, which was voted number one party school in the U.S. last year, I believe. Morgantown is referred to as "Babylon" in the mission, so it should be interesting!

I was blessed to have a really incredible last week in Pikeville. The week started off with some CRAZY storms, which put our power out for a whole night. The next day was our walking day. We headed out walking to a place called Mossy Bottom. We thought it was only a couple miles away so we were like, “alright, we can walk that, no big deal!” We decided to take what we thought was a "short-cut" and ended up slightly lost in some holler. We asked two guys working on some power lines how to get to Mossy Bottom, and they got us headed the right direction and also gave us some much needed water. People are so nice out here, it's ridiculous. The way they directed us DID in fact lead to Mossy Bottom, but it also led us over the top of a mountain on a dirt road . . . in the rain. We hiked over that mountain in our ballet flats, in the rain, with big smiles on our faces though, because this mission really is just a grand adventure, and I love every crazy moment of it with all my heart. It also helps that I was hiking in the best of company. It's so fabulous to serve alongside a true friend. I love Sister Morgan with all my heart.

We finally did make it to Mossy Bottom, and by that time, it was about 6:00 in the evening. We taught the woman we had planned on seeing, and then, we get out of the lesson, and we realize, “Dang. We have to walk home now.” It was way too late, and our feet hurt way too bad, so we called our girl M-------, and she came and saved us and gave us a ride home. When she picked us up, the first words out of her mouth were, "You all WALKED here???" We laughed about it the whole drive back, and we figured we had walked somewhere over 10 miles that day.

On Saturday we decided to go check out the street fair that was at the end of a marathon they were having in Williamson.  We thought we could pass out some cards. We decided to get lunch at Taco Bell, where a random lady (she apparently ran the marathon and was a member from Virginia) bought our lunch for us! That NEVER happens in the WVCM, but we hear stories of it happening to other missionaries, and it made our day! Thank you nice Virginia lady wherever you are! While walking around Williamson, we found this really cool alley and we just had to take a few quick pictures in it. So, as I'm pulling out my camera to do so, my camera card falls out, and we watch, as if the world is in slow motion, as my card falls to the ground, and rolls ... into the sewer. By some miracle it landed on its side, and after much prayer and planning, we found two boards and were able to carefully pull it out. 

While we were trying to rescue my card though, we get a text from Sister Pitt telling us that the Pitt's would be at church with us in Pikeville the next day, so we needed to make sure J----- and the W---------s family knew. Through a series of tender mercies too personal to put on the blog, J-----was able to be there. 

The next day at church, the Pitts showed up and it was so good to see them. We brought them inside and they started talking with the branch. Then J----- walked in. Watching him walk in was a reminder to me of how beautiful people are. Because they are beautiful. We really are children of God. Sister Morgan and I nearly ran over to greet him. It felt so good to have our Pikeville dad at church with us on Fathers Day, as well as our mission dad, President Pitt. It was the best Fathers day gift I could have received. J---- caught us up in the warmest handshake ever, and then, I got to watch as he hugged the Pitts. I'm learning that you can sometimes SEE love, and I definitely saw it as J---- and the Pitts embraced each other. I wish I could describe the happiness of that morning, but I can promise you that words will never do the feelings that were there justice. The love the Pitts have for J----, and that we have for J----, and that J---- has for us, and that we all have for the gospel, it was overwhelming. We got to teach the Gospel Principles class with the Elders, in front of the Pitts, for J---- and the Elder's Biker gang investigator, R-----, which was pretty intimidating, but it was an incredible lesson with the Pitts there to add their insights. Before he left, we got a picture with J----, because he was our stand-in dad for Fathers Day. The picture I have of me and Sister Morgan with him, is one of my most prized possessions now. it represents miracles, and happiness, and I think above all, it represents love. Before J----- left, he gave both Sister Morgan and I a big hug. Because it was Fathers Day.

I'm so grateful for all the father figures I have in my life. Especially you, Dad. You know as well as I do that I wouldn't be here without you, and not in the "oh where would I be without you, you helped me get here" kinda way. You literally are the reason I'm here on a mission. And I can never repay you for that and the blessing it has been, and will be for me. I love you. so much.